Elevators are very expensive to repair and/or replace. Most landlords would rather use a duct tape and bubblegum approach than spend the dough to do the job correctly.
If you are using the fireplace correctly and smoke is still billowing into your apartment, then it looks like a chimney cleaning is in order.
To paraphrase David Mamet, the landlord business is a people business. It’s a fucking people business.
California state law governs the collection and return of security deposits. It applies to all California tenancies from Weed to Chula Vista, even San Jose.
Landlords who buy houses with in-law units rarely want an “already-installed tenant and their monthly check.”
Do you rent the unit, despite it’s relatively minor problems, or do you point them out to your prospective landlord and risk losing an opportunity to rent a reasonably priced apartment?
Master tenants make me mad when they rip off their roommates or their actions, knowingly or ignorantly, place innocent roommates’ housing in jeopardy.
There are many illegal clauses that one can find in a lease. For example, a tenant cannot waive his or her right to a habitable premises in a lease.
Given the facts as you relate them, you shouldn’t have any problem “moving” to Los Angeles to accept a temporary contract job.